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Congressman Dave Trott

Representing the 11th District of Michigan

Trott Requests Obama Explain the Narrative Used to Sell the Iran Nuclear Deal

May 17, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC:  U.S. Representative Dave Trott (MI-11) today led an effort in the House of Representatives to press President Barack Obama to clarify recent reports that his Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes used misleading information to sell the American people on the nuclear deal with Iran.   

“It’s deeply troubling that one of President Obama’s leading foreign policy advisors would admit that the administration may have misled the nation about the nuclear deal with Iran.  The American people deserve to know if this deal was sold to them with a false narrative. With so much at stake with Iran’s nuclear ambitions, there can be no deception or political games with how the agreement was put together. Sadly, these admissions by Mr. Rhodes only further confirm my fears that this deal had more to do with the President's legacy than it did with protecting the American people and our allies in the world,” said Rep. Trott, Michigan’s only member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

A recent New York Times story profiled the President’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes and how the administration's description of the nuclear agreement with Iran "was largely manufactured for the purpose of selling the deal." In the article, Rhodes implied the administration sold a misleading narrative and deceived the American public by preying on the naivety of inexperienced journalists and creating an “echo chamber” to influence the discussion surrounding the Iranian nuclear agreement. 

In response, Rep. Trott and 23 House lawmakers sent a letter to President Obama requesting that the president clarify the comments made by Rhodes and offer an explanation of the administration’s selling of the Iranian nuclear agreement. 

Since coming to Congress, Rep. Trott has been Michigan’s leading voice in Congress opposing the Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran and he has consistently warned that this agreement will pave the way for the Iranian regime to develop atomic weapons.

A full copy of the letter sent to President Obama is below:

President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you with great concern regarding recent statements made by your Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Mr. Ben Rhodes.

In a recent article, Mr. Rhodes implied that the administration was selling a misleading narrative and deceiving the American public by preying on the naivety of inexperienced journalists and creating an “echo chamber” to influence the discussion surrounding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

These comments and recent actions taken by your administration have only exasperated our mistrust and disapproval of the JCPOA.

Since the implementation of the JCPOA, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that snapping back sanctions on Iran will be unreasonable, if not completely impossible. After Cabinet Secretaries testified in Congress that Iran would not have any access to the U.S. dollar, multiple reports suggest that your administration is mulling ways to indirectly give access to our currency. On the heels of a supposed $1.7 billion ransom to free five innocently detained Americans, U.S. taxpayers were on the hook for a multimillion dollar check to Iran to purchase heavy water, an effort to accelerate their economy post deal, with funds that will undoubtedly go to accelerate Iran’s nefarious activities in the region.

As representatives of Americans all over the country, we have a responsibility and a duty to be as forthcoming, transparent, and honest about our policies, especially regarding matters of national security. Americans should rest assured knowing that their elected representatives are having an honest, robust debate about the threats facing our country. In light of these recent comments and actions taken by your administration we ask that you clarify your position on the most recent statements made by Mr. Rhodes and actions taken by your administration that are contrary to the promises made before the JCPOA was signed.

Thank you,

Rep. Dave Trott

Rep. Gary Palmer

Rep. Doug Lamborn   

Rep. Bradley Byrne

Rep. Robert Pittenger

Rep. Mike Bishop

Rep.  Scott DesJarlais

Rep. Tim Walberg                                                            

Rep.  David McKinley

Rep.  John Moolenaar

Rep.  Jeff Duncan

Rep.  Ryan Zinke        

Rep.  Lynn Jenkins      

Rep.  John Ratcliffe

Rep.  Lamar Smith     

Rep.  Mark Meadows

Rep.  Dan Newhouse

Rep. Dan Benishek

Rep.  Leonard Lance

Rep. Mike Coffman

Rep. Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.  

Rep. Trent Franks

Rep. Tom Reed